Dear Editor SIR,
Emancipendence 2022 kicked off in fine style with beautiful floats representing the best of Jamaica. The integral involvement of the church in this national activity must be fully appreciated and it was noted that biblical themes deservedly played a prominent role in the parade. The church has played a pivotal role in the maturity and strengthening of this nation, with three of our seven national heroes being clergymen themselves; Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle, and George William Gordon.
Critical and Reflective Questions
While we reflect on the life of these great men and we consider the theme chosen for our Diamond Jubilee “Reigniting Our Nation for Greatness”, a few questions arise: What lit the original flame that made our nation great to begin with? What does “national greatness”, look like? And how do we get there? I believe the answers to these soul-searching questions are found in the body of our Motto, Anthem, and Pledge; our MAP. Our identity as a nation was forged in the understanding that we are a nation under God, our Eternal Father; with prayer at its core. Indeed our Anthem is a prayer. This dream of a land – protected by God’s mighty hand, free from evil powers, lit through dark times, with leaders empowered by the mind of God and people furnished with honour and true respect for each other, cherishing the weak, living responsibly and all with a united vision, lest we perish – is more than a dream.
Our True Vision
This vision of greatness to which we all must unite is alluded to most succinctly in the closing text of our National Pledge which says “So that” or “with the aim being that” – “Jamaica may increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity and play her part in the advancement of the whole human race.” Here we see a two-dimensional goal of greatness; one aspect which is internally focused on covering environmental and moral goodness, relational strength, and economic flourishing, and the latter which is externally poised; sending Jamaica on a mission for the good of the world. The key to achieving this, and indeed reigniting Jamaica for greatness, may be found in the MAP itself. For it is the truth that will set us free; that we may be a truly emancipated and independent people. There are three references to truth in our Anthem: true wisdom, truth affixed to justice, and true respect. Here we find the keys that will truly unlock the greatness of this precious land and reignite our nation for greatness. But it means we have much work to do.
3 Keys to Jamaica’s Greatness
The Prophet Isaiah, inspired by the Spirit of truth wrote some 2700 years ago: “Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in” (Isaiah26:2). There is a special blessing for nations that keep and maintain truth. It is the eternal prayer of our hearts that Jamaica, as the Anthem says, will keep truth forever and in three highlighted ways: true wisdom, truth affixed to justice, and true respect.
We need our leaders to receive true wisdom, the ability to delineate good from evil as defined by the mind of God; differentiating them from those who are controlled by demonic and worldly wisdom. Worldly wisdom, which pretends foolishly that there is no God, leads to evil, shame, chaos, and ultimate destruction. But “true wisdom from above” leads to life, peace, and prosperity (James 3). We need leaders with true wisdom who will be unafraid to deny the IDB, EU, or any other powerful global powerhouse that seeks to seduce us with money, power, or fame. Rather we need leaders who will be determined to be global leaders for that which is true and good, “advancing the welfare of the whole human race”.
We want truth affixed to justice; “justice, truth be ours forever”. We need justice and truth to team up against the corruption monster that seems to be drowning our justice system, our police force, and partisan media landscape. Our laws and policies ought to reflect truth and justice; protecting the weakest: the poor, disabled, mentally ill, and unborn. We want robust independent investigative journalism from our media houses to expose the evils in our politics and the festering corruption in our land. For where there is no light and no truth, there cannot be justice.
We want to empower our people to show “true respect for all people”; respect based on the reality that we are all made in the image of God, irrespective of address, color, class or creed. We must invest heavily in the healing of the Jamaican family; the most powerful system for stable character development. We must also teach our boys how to be men: protectors, providers, and priests of the home and nation. And teach our girls how to be women who value themselves, prize inner beauty, and how to nurture the future of our nation with strength and grace.
Reigniting the greatness of Jamaica is not an overnight exercise. . Our nation is in crisis it simply cannot be business as usual. It will take sweeping changes, transformational leadership, an unyielding spirit, and an undying commitment to the Truth. Without Truth, Jamaica cannot hope to have justice, peace, or prosperity.
Daniel Thomas is a son of the soil, a medical doctor and the President of the Love March Movement; a youth Christian organization for sexual purity and the family in Jamaica.